Free assistance filing your tax returns

Filing your income tax return can be confusing and overwhelming. And, hiring a professional is an extra expense that many hardworking families just can’t afford. CAPK Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA (pronouned light “vigh-tuh”), is here to help.

The VITA team is available year-round to help low- and medium-income individuals and families prepare and e-file their income tax returns. The best part? There’s no cost to work with VITA. Our team is here to provide free assistance to prepare your tax returns.

In 2021, our team helped file 4,661 tax returns, bringing more than $9 million back to Kern County taxpayers through tax credits and refunds.

free assistance

Trained and IRS-certified tax preparers who can help you, for free

The VITA Team includes staff and volunteers who are trained and IRS-certified. They know how to help families and individuals maximize refunds and take advantage of both the federal and California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC and CalEITC). Our team has provided free tax preparation and e-filing services to local residents for more than fifteen years.

How can VITA help me?

Our VITA team can currently assist taxpayers with the following:

  • Tax preparation for tax years 2018-2022
  • ITIN applications and renewals
  • Recovering Economic Impact Payments 1-3, known as stimulus payments
  • Claiming Child Tax Credits and Earned Income Credit (for those eligible)
  • Understanding and responding to letters issued from the Internal Revenue Service and/or Franchise Tax Board
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What documents do I need to file my taxes?

documents needed

What documents do I need to file my taxes?

When you schedule an appointment with our VITA team, please bring the following documents and forms:

  1. Picture ID for the taxpayer and their spouse (if applicable)
  2. Social Security cards or ITIN documentation for every person on the return
  3. All W-2s, 1099 and any other documentation of income (retirement, interest, dividend, etc.)
  4. All 1098 Forms for educational expenses
  5. 1095A Form for health insurance purchased through Covered California
  6. Childcare provider information:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Tax ID # or SSN
    • Phone Number
    • Amount Paid
  1. Bank account number and routing number for direct deposit
  2. Previous year’s tax return (not required, but helpful)
  3. Form 13614-C in English or Spanish

If you don’t have any of the documents listed above, don’t worry. Still come to your meeting. Your VITA representative will be able to help you figure out how to find any missing information needed to prepare and file your tax return.

Schedule a free appointment to prepare your tax return

No-cost appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 661-834-1724 to schedule an appointment.

Lines are open: Monday to Friday – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Our office is located at 300 19th Street, just east of downtown Bakersfield.